In our big fat ambition of reducing our carbon footprint, we want to develop shorter cycles for our RePacks, so that they can be managed more closely to the brands and consumers (re)using them.
As a first attempt to do so, we partnered with the largest postal company in France, La Poste, for what we call The French Loop! Read on, it's honestly exciting.
The dark side of e-commerce's growing demand
E-commerce players outperformed in 2020, with consumers turning to digital platforms to shop. In fact, in August 2020, the major players in the digital market saw their shipments increase on average 35% more than in December 2019.
At a time when e-commerce sales are exploding, it is more than a hot time to rethink the concept of packaging and develop alternative solutions.
In France, the law starts to move in the right direction with ambitious targets.
"The French anti-waste law for a circular economy of 2020 provides for a target of 5% reused packaging by 2023, 10% by 2027 and the elimination of 100% of single-use plastic packaging by 2040; It is an ambitious challenge that France will only take up if new, highly operational solutions are put in place quickly and marketers are encouraged to adopt them." underlines Patrick Bariol, director of Léko.
Great on paper, but what now? Highly operational solutions need actors from different sectors to cooperate closely to make it happen, right?
We did some simple math:
On one hand, we have La Poste, the largest postal service company in France. Every day, La Poste must respond to this growth in e-commerce by delivering parcels. With packaging responsible for 10% to 30% of online commerce's CO2 emissions, La Poste strongly intends to support circular economy solutions to produce and consume differently.
On the other hand, we have RePack, stubbornly fighting against single-use packaging. To date, more than 150 brands in Europe and North America use our service. In France, pioneers have already adopted RePack such as Volcom, Picture Organic, Blissim or Hopaal. Demand is strong and French consumers are ready to change their habits, especially when it comes to the climate emergency.
"With RePack we are entering the functional economy by prioritizing use over possession. The packaging is shared between several consumers and e-merchants, so we avoid the waste of single-use" says Jonne Hellgren, CEO of RePack.
So, what happens when La Poste and RePack meet?
That's right, they cooperate :)
To respond to the increased demand from French consumers, we joined forces with La Poste for a 9-months project, starting in April 2021, in cooperation with around ten French Champion brands. This project, "French Loop", aims to reduce the distance travelled and promote local management within the French borders.
How is La Poste enabling the development of the #FrenchLoop ?
The principle is simple: as usual, customers choose to have their purchase delivered in RePack before finalizing their order.
Once they received their goods, they simply drop their Repack into a letterbox. It's free, and we handle the costs of return logistics in our hub in Tallinn.
Right, in Tallinn, Estonia. We know that sounds far but we also know that this transport has a footprint of 36 grams on average, which is roughly the equivalent of an e-mail with a large attachment! It's much better than single-use packaging, and the data supports us. Read more here.
BUT. It does not mean we can't improve. In order to limit our environmental footprint as much as possible, we want the RePacks received in France to stay in France. And that's something La Poste can handle.
During this project, the RePacks received in France will be intercepted by La Poste with the aim that the entire process can be handled locally, supporting a social and circular economy.
The objective of this collaborative work is to optimize the environmental performance and efficiency of our RePack service and to enable as many French webstores to switch to RePack!
If you know a French brand, have a French brand, or like a French brand, there's still time to join the #FrenchLoop! Drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you to jump on board :)